Google Chrome is the browser we all love to hate. It’s fantastic, but it gets slow with time. Here are five tools to speed up web browsing on Chrome, especially on slower connections.
Now, none of these are going to make your computer faster. They attack the web browsing aspects of Chrome, which is all about how quickly the pages load. If the browser itself is sluggish and freezes up often, the best thing you can do is to reduce Chrome’s memory usage and free up RAM.
1. FasterChrome (Chrome): Speed Up Browsing by Smart Preloading
FasterChrome is an extension that claims to be smart enough to figure out which page you are about to click and starts loading it before you click. Sounds incredulous? Here’s how it works.
The extension tracks your mouse’s movements across the browser. Once the cursor hovers a link for 65 milliseconds, FasterChrome starts preloading the link. Apparently that 65 milliseconds is the magic point where you have a 50% chance of clicking the link or not. And this gives the extension about 300 extra milliseconds to preload the page. It only preloads the HTML to save bandwidth and resources.
The result is that your web browsing feels much faster than before, as the human brain perceives actions taking less than 100 milliseconds as instant. FasterChrome is also smart enough to not activate on pages where you need to sign out.
Download: FasterChrome for Chrome (Free)
2. Web Boost (Chrome): Secure, Open-Source Speed Tweak
Instead of attacking each page to load it faster, or preloading certain pages, Web Boost has a different philosophy to enable faster browsing. Its focus is to make Chrome do less work by storing building blocks.
By building blocks, Web Boost means elements that are common across several web pages. For example, the social media sharing buttons or Google Adsense code used in many websites is the same. So why should your browser download these from the website every time?
By identifying common website building blocks and refusing to download them again, Web Boost speeds up page loading times. The extension doesn’t require any configuration or any caching. Also, videos and images don’t lose quality too.
Download: Web Boost for Chrome (Free)
3. AMP Browser Extension (Chrome): Load AMP Pages on Desktop
AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a Google project to speed up how web pages are loaded on mobile phones. The AMP Browser Extension brings this feature to the desktop in an unofficial capacity.
You can stick with the AMP pages or go back to the full-featured Web pages by clicking the blue AMP extension icon. You’ll also see a highlight on AMP links in Google search results.
Do note that the extension hasn’t updated in a long time, but it works as advertised. The developers are now trying to build a standalone AMP Browser based on Chromium that not only accelerates pages but also reduces data consumption.
Download: AMP Browser Extension for Chrome (Free)
4. McAfee Web Boost (Chrome): Stop Auto-playing Videos
The most annoying new trend among websites is to feature videos that start auto-playing as soon as you visit the page. Now only does this slow down browsing, but there doesn’t seem to be a clear and easy fix for it.
People find methods to block auto-playing videos on Chrome, and developers keep coming with new ways to circumvent the methods. It’s like an eternal dance. For now, the easy solution seems to be installing McAfee Web Boost, which works better than any other extension I’ve seen. And don’t go by the “zero videos stopped on this site” notice sometimes, it’s doing the job without the counter getting added.
Please note that McAfee routinely gets called up for privacy issues about sharing consumer data, but no one has so far pointed out any flaws with this extension.
Download: McAfee Web Boost for Chrome (Free)
5. Shut Up (Chrome): Block Comments Everywhere
Comments are often a time sinkhole that you inadvertently fall in. Thus derailing your web browsing session into a vitriolic exchange with a random internet commenter. Shut Up blocks comments everywhere on the web by default.
This is especially true on websites of major news media outlets, YouTube and Twitch, and other similar portals. While comments aren’t necessarily bad, they are a distraction that can also negatively affect your mood. Shut Up hides all comments on any web page, so you aren’t tempted to see them, participate in them, or find a rabbit hole to dive into.
If you still want to see the comments on any page, in a couple of clicks, you can filter that website to always allow comments.
Fix Annoying Chrome Issues
Extensions aren’t a foolproof solution to speeding up a sluggish Chrome browser. In fact, extensions can also end up taking more CPU and RAM resources, and thus slow down the whole computer.
That’s why, apart from these extensions, you should first fix some common annoying Chrome issues. For all you know, deleting the Web Data file is the only thing you need for a faster Chrome browser.